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Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 21, 2003, 6:22

As far as philosophical languages go, I agree with the skeptics.  Though I
don't see any a priori limits on the complexity and utility of artificial
languages, I don't think that we know how to design languages that are, in
all ways, more expressive than natural languages.

But artificial languages have already been created for special purposes.
One could design an unnatural language for secret writing.  Okrand has
designed a non-human language for completely different purposes.   Esperanto
is rather easy to learn in comparison to the Eurpopean languages that
inspired it, and might become a lingua franca to be reckoned with as soon as
the Esperantists of the world put a word for "promotion" into their lexicon.

One way to make an auxlang maximally user-friendly would be to study the
language acquisition literature, see which structures are aquired earliest
cross-linguistically, and use those features as much as possible.

Phono-wogicawee, we might want to get wid of the wikwids, for exampo.



Making all semantically related morphemes resemble one another seems naive
to me.  All those related morphemes could confuse some people.  Imagine if
this passage...

"After I took pictures with my camera, I took them to a dark room to develop
them.  The prints came out beautifully."

...were written in a version of English in which words having to do with
photography all resembled one another:

"After I created the photographrands with my photographizer, I took them to
a postphotographization room to postphographize them.  The postphotographs
came out beautifully."

By giving the same root to all the photography words, I've made them less
easy to tell apart, and hence harder to parse.

Beyond that, there is no definitive list of conceptual primitives, and no
definitive way to classify all of the relationships that do exist and
*could* exist between all human concepts.
These considerations make the construction of a "philosophical" lexicon too
daunting for this conlanger.


Some of the talk on this thread is getting overheated.  Who cares if auxlang
topics seep onto this list once in a while?

excerpted from Tristan's post...

I've heard that /T/ and /D/ aren't mastered till about four or five, and
they're the only sounds I can remember actually learning (not counting
particular words; I used to say hopsital for hospital). Maybe that
counts as difficult?